Dambulla cave temple is located in Matale Disctrict,nearly 70km to the North of Kandy, Central Province. Dambulla is a large town surrounded by rocks as the name “Dambulla” holds the meaning of rock. Dambulla is also selected as world heritage site of Sri Lanka in 1991 by the UNESCO. The cave temple of Dambulla and the Golden temple of Dambulla are interconnected under a single administration. The cave temple is just behind the golden statue of Buddha and a slope entrance to the cave temple is available on the right hand side of the statue.
Dambulla cave temple is the largest cave temple in Sri Lanka. It is King Vattagamini Abhaya, who constructed this cave temple to show his gratitude as this cave protected him from an invasion. Total number of five caves which contains paintings and statues related to Buddha.
1st Cave: Cave of the divine king and it includes a fourteen meter length Buddha statue. Along this, statues of Ananda (favourite pupil of Buddha) and Vishnu (God with power) placed at the feet and head of the long Buddha statue respectively.
2nd Cave: Cave of the great kings includes statues of seated Buddha - 40, standing Buddha – 16, King Nissankamalla and King Vattagamini Abhaya. The ceilings and walls of this cave are filled with country’s important histories and important stories of Buddha’s life. Also the sacred water is collected in a vessel which never gets filled even in a heavy rain. The water drips from ceiling next to the dagaba surrounded by 11 seated Buddha statues.
Caves 3, 4 and 5 hold the names new great temple, Western temple, second new temple respectively continues with statues and paintings.
The gold plated Buddha statue of the Golden temple is the first eye catching structure when someone enters Dambulla. The Buddha statue was built within 3 years time to unveil in 2001 and the posture of Buddha resembles Dhamma chakka posture. This is the largest Dhamma chakka posture of Buddha in the world and in addition signification it is gold plated. The gold plated statue reveals the name Golden temple. Next, the museum which is also located the area of golden temple. The museum is a three storied structure. The museum consists of a large collection of Buddha statue from neighbouring countries such as Nepal, China, Burma and Japan. Also contains 18th century archaeological items of the nation. Travellers can visit the museum from 7.30a.m to 11.30p.m and small amount is charged to enter.
Pilgrims, tourists from local and foreign are the common who visits here. A peaceful venue where one can relax the mind and heart well.